How do I Choose the Best Home Antenna?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Satellite TV services typically provide a dish antenna to their customers.
Satellite TV services typically provide a dish antenna to their customers.

An antenna is a device made to transmit or receive radio signals. Transmission of radio signals is carried out through the conversion of electrical current into electromagnetic radio waves. Reception of radio signals is carried out through the conversion of electromagnetic waves into electric current. A home antenna is usually used to refer to an antenna for better television reception, and with many different offerings available, many homeowners are concerned with choosing the best home antenna. Although an antenna for a CB base station or WiFi could be installed in a home, this is not the type of antenna that is generally referred to by the term home antenna.

An antenna map can provide advice on where to place a home antenna.
An antenna map can provide advice on where to place a home antenna.

There are several approaches you can take to choose the best home antenna. First, if you were to sign up for a television service, such as an HD satellite TV provider, the antenna — in the form of a dish — would be provided for you. In this case, the choice of the best home antenna is made when you choose the provider, and the placement and operation of the antenna is up to them.

Reception of radio signals is carried out through the conversion of electromagnetic waves into electric current.
Reception of radio signals is carried out through the conversion of electromagnetic waves into electric current.

If you are aiming to get the best reception you can without a television provider of any kind, there are other ways to make your best choice. First, look around to see if you have a neighbor with a home antenna. Learning about the experiences of someone in a very similar location to yours can provide you with insight in both what to do and what not to do.

TV stations in the US are required to transmit HD digital signals.
TV stations in the US are required to transmit HD digital signals.

Another helpful step is to consult an antenna map. One kind of antenna map is an online tool to help suggest appropriate specifications for your antenna, depending on the location in which you plan to place it and the channels you are most interested in picking up. With input about your location — including your street address, information about structures that could impede the signal, and the height at which the antenna will be placed — it analyzes the geography and the signals from the relevant stations to suggest antenna types and orientation. Separate versions of this type of antenna map are also available for assistance with satellite dish antenna mapping if you are setting up a satellite dish on your own.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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Discussion Comments

Melonlity

Talking to a neighbor is the best approach. Signals can be blocked or impacted by a lot of things such as hills, other buildings, etc. Someone who is located in your neighborhood and has a working antenna has obviously installed something that will work in your area. You can save yourself a lot of time and trouble by simply asking a neighbor for advice.

If that's not possible, talking to a local expert about what equipment you need is a great idea.

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    • Satellite TV services typically provide a dish antenna to their customers.
      By: vachiraphan
      Satellite TV services typically provide a dish antenna to their customers.
    • An antenna map can provide advice on where to place a home antenna.
      By: Selecstock
      An antenna map can provide advice on where to place a home antenna.
    • Reception of radio signals is carried out through the conversion of electromagnetic waves into electric current.
      By: taweepat
      Reception of radio signals is carried out through the conversion of electromagnetic waves into electric current.
    • TV stations in the US are required to transmit HD digital signals.
      By: uwimages
      TV stations in the US are required to transmit HD digital signals.